Great sales and marketing leadership: it's all about you!

We all know the ingredients of great sales and marketing: breakthroughs in consumer/customer understanding, powerful brands that people love, thumb-stopping creative, customer experiences that people can’t help but talk about, optimal portfolios, commercial acumen, the list goes on.

It takes great technical skill to deliver great work and while technical skills are critical, what we’ve learnt working with some of the top CMOs and CCOs in the world is that this is just one side of what it takes to be a great sales or marketing leader. You absolutely need to set the vision for teams in what they do, and coach them to do it brilliantly. But it’s the mastery of being that sets apart those able to achieve greatness.

Ken Blanchard says “it’s only when you realise that it’s not about you that you begin to lead at a higher level”. Of course, this is true in one sense, but in another sense, we believe it’s all about you! Greatness doesn’t just happen, it takes investment and the place to start that investment is you. Invest in yourself in order to get the best out of others.

So what does being a leader mean? It means:

1. Being in touch with what you care about. 

How can you lead in such an intense business environment if you don’t genuinely, hand on heart care about what you’re doing? This takes insight – insight into yourself, your organisation and your customers.

2. Having a sense of purpose.

If you can’t articulate what you’re up to, how can you expect to engage others? What we see in the great leaders we work with is a clear sense of purpose that is connected to what they care about, what their organisations care about and what their customers care about. Put these things together and it gives you a powerful licence to lead not only within your function but across your organisation because you become the voice of your customer.

3. Building big partnerships.

Partnerships that get results are built on relationships and the energy that goes into them. Are you conscious every day of the relationships that you need to be building? Are they big enough to deliver the results you need? Who is growing these relationships and who is shrinking them? What role are you playing personally?

4. Delivering performance.

Delivering performance through others starts with you. You’re a role model and if you’re not at your best, the likelihood is that your team and those that look to you for inspiration and guidance won’t be at their best either. How in touch are you with who you are when you’re at your best? How are you ensuring that you’re at your best more of the time?

Being a great marketing or sales leader means investing in yourself. You can have the greatest team around you but if you’re not at your best, you won’t be getting the best out of them.  

We’re going to be sharing more of what we’ve learnt from working with some of the greatest sales and marketing leaders in the world over the next few weeks through a series of blogs, however in the meantime we've put together a quick questionnaire so you can see how you stack up and get some practical tips on what you can be doing right now to lift your performance. 


BRAND LEARNING: Inspiring people. Lifting capabilities. Growing organisations.